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Thursday, August 04, 2011

What Do Sin and Belly-Button Lint Have In Common?

Observation 1:

Yesterday I was watching, via Netflix DVD, the 1980's show "Perfect Strangers". 

This probably has to be one of the best comedies ever, and it's so refreshing to actually LAUGH at things that are funny but not in a squirmy "I shouldn't be laughing at this" kind of way.

In any case, Balki, from the mediterranian country of Mypos, was working on a lint painting. He explained to cousin Larry that the legend of its origin had to do with their spiritual leader. The man apparently made a trip to the top of a mountain where he sat staring at his navel for sixty days and sixty nights, and returned to his people with a lint painting.

Seriously, doesn't that make you giggle?

Then I reflected a bit on navel-gazing. Are you ready for my observation?  Here it is:

If you don't navel-gaze on occasion, you'll never find the lint you missed.

Ponder that one for a bit...

Observation 2:

This morning's Divine Office, first reading, was taken from the book of Hosea.

The book itself is startling, expressive, and ultimately redemptive in character, but I always cringe at the names.

The prophet Hosea, at God's direction, took a harlet named Gomer as his wife, and she gave birth to a son. Then the Lord said to him,

Give him the name Jezreel
for in a little while
I will punish the house of Jehu
for the bloodshed at Jezreel
And bring to an end the kingdom
of the house of Israel;

Ugh. Brutal name for the poor infant son!

But wait! There's more!

Gomer gave birth to a daughter, and the Lord ordered Hosea,

"Give her the name Lo-ruhama;
I no longer feel pity for the house of Israel;
rather, I abhor them utterly.

And it even gets worse when Gomer gave birth to another son:

Give him the name of Lo-ammi,
for you are not my people,
and I will not be your God

That's just from today's reading! There's even more!

Although I do love the book of Hosea, which is an allegory expressing the spousal love of God for His Bride, the Church (and what a fallen Bride she is), the names given here cause me to ponder concupiscence, for truly, it is not God who rejects us, but we reject Him. We are the ones telling Him, "We will not be your people and You will not be our God."

That's what sin does.

Sometimes I am very saddened upon the necessary navel-gazing, looking for that lint I missed the last time I went to Confession. But when I really think about it, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I am not named Gomer, Jezreel, Lo-ruhama or Lo-ammi, or for that matter, Mahershalalhashbaz.

That is all.

** ** **

P.S. You checked your belly-button for lint, didn't you? ;-)

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